Sometimes, just the thought of cooking with one of my friends gives me the incentive to tackle a dish requiring patience. This time it was a beautiful fresh fruit tart.
While making shortbread crust and custard for the tart I’d be bringing to a BBQ, I thought about being in the kitchen with a friend. I imagined my friend sifting flour and salt while I blended eggs and sugar; I wondered if we’d assemble the tarts together or take the crust and custard home, adding the fruit later. While the crust baked and custard chilled, I thought about washing berries and wondered whether my friend and I would decide to slice the fruit or wait.
Cooking with friends changes the cooking process in so many wonderful ways —from sharing tasks, speeding up chopping duties, to chit-chatting through the mundane— that it becomes natural even when alone, to strategize about cooking together. Each task I perform and decision I make in my kitchen can be approached in a different and usually, more fun and efficient way with a friend. I take pleasure in my moments cooking alone, especially when sharing my thoughts with my imaginary cooking friends.